Pigpen Profile

Meet the Performers: Andre Johnson

Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Andre who?

Oh, you are about to find out my buddies. We’re back with our next reasons to be pretty pigpen profile!

This time we have Andre Johnson, who will be playing our favorite small town alpha male: KENT.

What made you audition for reasons to be pretty?
Tony contacted me about auditioning. It sounded fun and I like Tony, so I decided to attend.
How do you relate to your character?
I don’t, haha. At all. Kent is pretty much the polar opposite of who I am as a person. I do enjoy baseball though.
What do you dislike about your character?
Literally everything. He cheats, he’s two-faced, he values people based on what they contribute to his own status, he’s super misogynistic, he’s hyper-masculine… He embodies pretty much everything I hate.
What is your favorite part of the show?
Probably when I’m describing Crystal to Greg and describing the color of her eyes in the most inept way possible.
Who inspires you?
Among people I know personally, definitely my mother. She’s a fantastic role model and a powerful person. When it comes to celebrities and that kind of folk, I really like Terry Crews, and the Internet personalities I follow most are the Game Grumps, who are pretty much living my dream every day.
How did you first get involved with performing?
A drama class in middle school got me interested, but what solidified it was taking drama classes in high school. A teacher from one such class was directing a school musical, and she offered me a role 2 weeks before opening, and I took it and loved the experience, so I just ran with it.
What is your dream role?
Seaweed from Hairspray would be so much fun, or George Washington or Aaron Burr from Hamilton. But then I’d have to learn how to actually sing.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Probably spaghetti. Or juice, if that’s an option. If I could be guaranteed to get all my required vitamins and nutrients and not get canker sores every day of my life, I would just drink juice forever.
What is your favorite fandom?
That’s tough, a lot of fandoms are kind of awful… I guess the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom? They’re generally pretty agreeable and don’t gang up to bash people or nothing.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this show?
So many issues could be resolved with open and honest communication.
Do you have any upcoming projects or social media plugs?
Not at the moment. I am trying to force myself to write and record a video series about the psychological impacts of video games and media, which I’m going to upload to my YouTube channel CascoreGamer. As might be expected, it’s entirely video game related stuff, and lately I’m attempting to branch out into more thoughtful content than I’ve been putting up so far.
Thank you Andre Johnson for your candor. reasons to be pretty opens Friday September 28th at 7:30pm and closes October 6th. Get your tickets today!
Pigpen Profile

Meet the Performers: Casey Anderson

This week in the pigpen you will get to know the amazing cast of reasons to be pretty, opening this weekend!


Casey Anderson is playing the male lead of our production of reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute. Believe it or not, this is Casey’s first time on stage in a fully produced show. We asked Casey about how such a loving and intelligent human takes on the role of GREG, a guy who might think he is more loving and intelligent than he really is.

What made you audition for reasons to be pretty?
C: I auditioned for reasons to be pretty thanks to the generous outreach of Tony, who was my acting teacher a year ago.
How do you relate to your character?
C: I relate to my character in that he can be pretty spineless in his attempt to just please everyone, though I feel he does so in a deceitful manner.
What do you dislike about your character?
C: I really dislike Greg’s reluctance to accept responsibility and to say sorry, even once.
What is your favorite part of the show?
C: My favorite part of the play is the opening scene. It just starts off with such high energy, it’s great.
Who inspires you?
C: The other players really inspire me. They’re naturals that have honed their craft. It’s so great performing with them and playing off their energy. Famous people: Well, Marion Cotillard has just the most beautiful nuanced performances.
How did you first get involved with performing?
C: This. This is how I got involved with performing. In my day-to-day life I’ve always had a more theatrical bent.
What is your dream role?
C: Well, after this I would really, really like to try something with a large cast and one where I have a more supporting role.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
C: Chips and salsa. Back home in Washington we grow a garden and make over 100 gallons of fresh salsa. At peak consumption I was eating a quart of it a day.
What is your favorite fandom?
C: There’s a subreddit called trebuchet memes. Full of a bunch of idiots making really terrible jokes. My people.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this show?
C: Don’t think you can act just ’cause you think you can spot good acting. It’s hard.
Do you have any upcoming projects or social media plugs?
C: Terrence Malick
Just released his opus, The Tree of Life. Everyone should watch it. Not everyone will like it but it is the closest I think I have come to witnessing The Divine. Very difficult to watch. It challenges the viewer and conceptions about film.
Thank you Casey Anderson for your candor. reasons to be pretty opens Friday September 28th at 7:30pm and closes October 6th. Get your tickets today!



Upcoming Performance

reasons to be pretty

reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute opens September 28th and closes October 6th. Purchase your tickets today.


Starring Casey Anderson as Greg, Taylor Moschetti as Steph, Clare Thompson as Carly, and Andre Johnson as Kent.

About reasons to be pretty: When Greg makes a seemingly harmless comment about his girlfriend Steph’s “regular” looking face, the information gets back to Steph and sends their relationship over the deep end. Greg’s life spirals out of control when Steph leaves him, and he has to come to terms with what he has said. Greg’s best friend Kent is married to Steph’s best friend Carly, and when things start collapsing in Steph and Greg’s life, Carly and Kent are pulled in for the ride. We see Greg, Steph, Carly and Kent deal with the pressures of what it means to be ‘pretty’, and observe how the four friends manage the infidelity, betrayal and deceit that creeps into their lives.


Tickets are $20 for evening performances or $15 for matinee.

September 28, 29, and October 6th at 7:30pm

September 30th at 2:00pm


You cannot miss this show!


Get Involved, Writing Opportunities

WRITE for Shake-Smash 2018



We want to take down Shakespeare!

Laughing Pig Theatre is now accepting submissions for their first ever Shake-Smash New Play Festival. Shake-smash is a festival that both celebrates and challenges Shakespeare’s stubbornly immortal work.

We are looking for creators to submit new ten-minute and one-act shows inspired in some way by Shakespeare. It can be a retelling of a story in a new setting, a deconstruction of a theme, a Tom Stoppard-esque between the scenes companion piece, a farcical parody, a sequel, a prequel, a soliloquy, a musical, a dance, a poem, a saucy puppet show, or whatever else you want it to be! As long as it is demonstrably inspired by Shakespeare, we honestly don’t really care.

Submissions are $5 for a ten-minute and $10 for a one-act. They will be accepted until 11:59pm on September 30, 2018, after which Laughing Pig will select a number of shows to be performed for the festival in December. Shows performed at the festival will be judged by a panel of Shakespeare fanatics, with the opportunity to win awards and cash prizes!

To enter, fill our form here.
Contact laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com for more details or questions!



We cannot wait to read your submissions!



Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Ilana Lydia


Ok, look, I’m not sold on the name either everybody. Maybe I’m forcing the porcine theme too much, I don’t know, we can revisit it later.

For now, we wanted to give you chance to learn a little more about Ilana Lydia, Artistic Director of B3 Productions and playwright of our upcoming staged reading A Sense of Wonder.

I asked Ilana a few questions about her views on theatre, and you can ask her some yourself next Friday, August 10 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Tickets are $5 or pay-what-you-can. There will be a facilitated feedback session afterwards, so be ready to share your thoughts and help the creative process thrive!

•What is your theatrical background?

Ilana: I started as a director, being left alone with actors and my first notepad at the tender age of 11.  Luckily, I’ve been able to grow beyond almost all of my first experiences.  I’ve always valued people, relationships, and process over the end product, and so as a playwright, it’s experiences like this that keep me writing.

•What inspired you to write A Sense of Wonder?

Ilana: I had the image of a woman escaping from universe to universe in my mind, then I found her friend, and the rest pretty much wrote itself.  I enjoy science fiction, feminism, and comedy–this script seemed to fall together right across these lines for me.

•What appeals to you about using science fiction elements on stage?
Ilana: It’s not done as often as I think it should be.  Science fiction/fantasy is such a rich field, but many producing agents shy away from it.  I like to watch new ideas, and different worlds or universes are the perfect place to explore these.


•What are some themes you find yourself focusing on in your work?
Ilana: Metatheater is my big one–the play becoming aware of itself as a play, the characters understanding they are characters, or the audience suddenly seeing itself as an audience.  I think it’s safe to say that I explore feminist topics, as well.


•What do you think is unique about theatre in the Valley?
Ilana: What a vibrant community we have!  There’s so much going on every weekend all across the Valley–you could never spend an evening home, if you wanted.  We’re so lucky to have virtually every type of taste represented in our theaters, from Disney musicals to existential reflections on life.  There are so many opportunities here.  We just need to be sure to help each other along the way.


•What advice would you give someone interested in playwriting?

Ilana: Find a writer’s group.  Having to check in with new writing every so often will keep you producing.  Exchange with friends.  Exchange with acquaintances.  Keep going.  And above all, be grateful for whatever practice you have.  It’s an honor to be able to put down your words and come out with a script.


Huge thanks to Ilana for submitting her work to be read. If you’d like us to consider your work for a future reading, you can share it through the New Work Submissions link. See you at the reading, and until then, keep creating!


Upcoming Performance

Monologue Cafe: Walls

After a couple of months of putting this together, we open today, and we couldn’t be anymore excited! We have an absolutely incredible array of writers and performers that participated.


As always, we are so thankful to all those who participated.

To purchase tickets: click here

July 27 and 28 at 7:30pm in the Mesa Arts Center’s Acting Studio

The Acting Studio is located above the Ceramic Studio on the 2nd floor of Studios South. You can go up the elevator or stairs right next to the Ceramic Studio entrance or up the big lit stairs. 


Upcoming Performance

Survival Skills- A Moment With Ada

On Friday Survival Skills will open at the Mesa Art Center for a four show run. The show’s inception coincided with the founding of Laughing Pig Theatre. It is what my Mom would call, “A Fearless Self Inventory.” It is a celebration of friendship. It is the first full-length play that Taylor or I have ever written.

Survival Skills began as a one-woman show that I conceived as a container to investigate new creative forms and process a whole lot of heaviness that came along with my first foray into counseling– a quest to acknowledge overwhelming pain, process grief, and move into healing.

When Taylor entered the process as my director we discovered a whole mess of intersecting issues, jokes, and weirdly taboo subjects that we NEEDED to discuss. We decided to write a two-person play in the style of a variety show. Our thesis: There is no single story, and all the stories in the world won’t save you from yourself. The only path TO the self, is THROUGH the self. In this show we dive into ourselves in the spirit of friendship, growth, and letting the ugly bits out to see and be seen. We cordially invite you, dear reader, along for the ride.

We all have survival skills. Survival stories. We are sharing this work because we Know That Our World Could Use a Whole Lot More Vulnerability, Radical Self-Love, and FEMINISM (which isn’t even one of the F-words we use in the show!) We put this offering into the world that it may touch you. We hope it makes you laugh. We ask, “If everything you think you know makes your life unbearable, would you change?”

There would be no Survival Skills without two wildly wonderful, creative, sensitive, patient, and downright badass FEMINIST MEN: Tony Holt (Technical Mastermind) and Tony Moschetti (Director). The music that brings life and wind to the show’s sails is provided by the grace of immensely kind and talented Angelica Prado-Stern. Greatest gratitude and LVE to my friend, and creative co-conspirator Taylor: Thank you for working with me to bring this beautiful, hot, screaming, beast of a show into the world! We scrappy as fuck.

Thank you to Laura Wilde and the Mesa Art Center for building a vibrant space and filling it with the strong heartbeat of this arts community. A hearty shout-out is due to nue[BOX] who gave Survival Skills’ first clumsy iteration stage time via a Work In Progress Showing– one of the coolest free resources available to performance artists in the valley. Thank you Carrie at Saguaro Counseling for helping me build skills to put the practice of Mr. Rogers, “if it’s mentionable it’s manageable” into practice. It’s a process not a product, and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.

This show is for Valerie and Deborah for loving me like only my mother can. Fathers John and Anthony. When you feel it, talk it out. For my grandmothers: persistent garden tenders, teachers, writers, braves, warriors. For the grandfathers I don’t know. A prayer for my brothers and sisters. An homage to my teachers: Karen and Suzan, for giving me the tools I’d need along the way; to Dusty, Leslyn, Candace, and Robbin reminding why I practice yoga; the art and science of self care; Stephanie and Sara for illuminating conversation and transformational leadership; Paul for helping solidify a journaling habit.

Most especially, I’d like to dedicate this to my soul sister April, and her new daughter Piper. May you give her the love that our mothers gave us, and the love they couldn’t. Create a new language for it, when you have to. Digida.